Here’s some excellent news to buoy you through another Monday in quarantine: Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of The Sandman is making a lot more progress than we thought. The news comes courtesy of Neil Gaiman himself, who in a Tumblr post last week said “everything was ready to go into production” before COVID-19 shut down the entertainment industry.
“It’s going really well, except it’s kind of hibernating right now until people start making TV again,” the author wrote, in answer to a fan’s question. “The scripts for the first season are written, casting had started, directors hired, sets were being built. Everything was ready to go into production, and then we moved into a pause. As soon as the world is ready to make TV drama, Sandman will move smoothly back into being made. In the meantime, we are taking the opportunity to get the scripts as good as we can.”
This is the biggest update we’ve had since November, when Gaiman shared a few details about the show with CBC’s Day 6 program. In the interview, he revealed that the present-day timeline of the adaptation will be moved from the ’80s to a contemporary setting, but will otherwise “stay faithful” to the original comics. He also confirmed that at least Dream’s look will constantly change (although it’s unclear if this will be true for the rest of the Endless), and said the creative team hasn’t said no to any familiar DC characters (who these might be, aside from Constantine, remains unknown).
Earlier that month, Gaiman said he had completed the first episode and was already plotting the first two seasons with his co-writers, showrunner Allan Heinberg and executive producer David Goyer. Before that, in July, he’d revealed that season 1 will be 11 episodes long and follow “Preludes and Noctures and a little more.” Here’s what we think that “little bit more” could be.
In other Sandman-related news, the DC series is also being adapted into a multi-part Audible drama, creative directed and executive produced by Gaiman himself. He will also serve as narrator to an “all-star cast,” the members of whom have yet to be revealed. Meanwhile, frequent collaborator Dirk Maggs (who adapted the Neverwhere, Stardust, Good Omens, and Anansi Boys radio plays) will write the script, direct, and executive produce.
Fans should be getting this adaptation way sooner, with the English version planned for a summer release, as of March. There’s no word yet on when Netflix’s The Sandman might resume production.